Friday, December 16, 2011


Today's post is in honor of our beautiful daughter Bethany, who is 29 today!  It is hard to believe that the years have flown by so quickly . . . and she has always been such a blessing to us. 

She came into this world weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces--and she was over a week early, with my due date set on Christmas Day.   

Happy birthday, Bethany!  You are such a thoughtful, caring, and selfless young woman (and a great cook).  We love you and are so thankful you are our daughter, our jewel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


From Doxieland to you, may your Christmas season be blessed, filled with peace, and shared with loved ones.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Here are some pictures of our oldest daughter and family, taken a few days ago at their home in Georgia.  Will share more family pics when our other daughter arrives from Arizona next week for Christmas. 

Philip, Holly, Annika,
Alexa, and Asher

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



People can shop 'til they drop, even while denying Him . . .

People can spend small fortunes on gifts for the "season," but ignore the best gift of all:  the free gift of eternal life . . .

Merchants avoid such references as MERRY CHRISTMAS, but have no trouble raking in all the money people spend on CHRISTMAS PRESENTS . . .

Schools allow "winter break," and although Christmas is a national holiday, they won't call the break CHRISTMAS BREAK . . .

Political correctness has evolved to sheer stupidity.  It has gone beyond reason, purpose, and usefulness.  I'm all for fairness, safety, and polite common sense, but we've gotten ridiculous over so many trivial things nowadays.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOY TO THE WORLD, PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN, A SAVIOR IS BORN, HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN . . . Well, you get the idea!  We need to share the true meaning of Christmas.  Without the birth of Jesus, THERE WOULD BE NO CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Yes, people, this is our famous dachshund granddawg Shadow all dressed up and ready for Christmas . . . and he looks like he knows he's cute, doesn't he?

Monday, November 28, 2011


Our Thanksgiving
It's that season of the year when we are SUPPOSED to give thanks, but I submit that we have so much to be thankful for that we should continually give thanks.  Every single day of my life should be a thanksgiving day!

My birthday was Friday, the day following Turkey Day.  Here are some pics of our day:
Clark and me with
sweet granddaughters

Happy chocolate faces!

The cooks

Somehow, son-in-law Philip managed to evade the camera, but he was there, all the same.  And I saw him enjoying the meal along with the rest of us!

Hope you had a blessed day as well.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Granddaughter Alexa turned six yesterday, and it is so hard to believe she's already reached that age!  We dubbed her "Smiley" when she was a baby, and now, she's blossomed into the family's social butterfly! 

Mama Holly (our daughter) made her a princess cake, all the little girls who came dressed as princesses, and even Mama was dressed as a queen.  What little girl WOULDN'T enjoy learning how to curtsy, wearing "princess" makeup, and being introduced as Princess "so-and-so"? 

Alexa holding gift

Saturday night, the family went to Alexa's favorite Mexican restaurant to continue the celebrations.  Although we couldn't be with them, they are coming in tonight for Thanksgiving, and we can hardly wait to see the family! 

Alexa is a ray of sunshine in our family.  She loves all things "princess," and she is such a blessing.  She's outgoing, friendly, a beautiful little girl, and we can't imagine life without our little curly-haired, fun-loving, and smiling Alexa.
Annika, Alexa, Asher,
Philip, Holly
May she have many, many more!

Friday, November 18, 2011


I wrote the following post last year at the start of the Christmas season.  I feel it is apropos again this year, so I am reposting this entry.
"Merchants gladly accept customers' money during the Christmas season, but hedge on calling it Christmas--"Holiday Shopping, Winter Shopping," etc. I submit that if certain merchants choose not to call this beloved holiday by its rightful name, then I choose not to patronize them."

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la. That, my dear friends, is not all there is to Christmas! Political correctness notwithstanding, "Jesus IS the REASON for the SEASON."

While this post is bordering on a rant, I stand my ground: Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Period. If folks don't like the fact that it is Christmas, then they should just clam up and get out of the way when we celebrate it! And, why spend lots of money on Christmas presents and decorations, celebrating the secular side of this holiday, but object to its raison d'etre, or its basis for being a holiday in the first place??

Merchants gladly accept customers' money during the Christmas season, but hedge on calling it Christmas--"Holiday Shopping, Winter Shopping," etc. I submit that if certain merchants choose not to call this beloved holiday by its rightful name, then I choose not to patronize them. Raking in the money from customers buying Christmas gifts during the Christmas season, but afraid and/or negative about rightfully calling the season Christmas? Talk about hypocrisy!

The giving of gifts is an admirable and enjoyable exercise; decorating the house with holly, greenery, red bows, candles, a beautiful tree, etc. is also enjoyable, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that! HOWEVER, I take exception when various entities and individuals want to take the REAL Christmas away from Christians. Seriously, other faiths are allowed to celebrate their holy days unimpeded. So, I believe we should as well.

The birth of my Lord Jesus Christ is the essence of the of my Christian faith. He is the cornerstone--He was born, He lived a sinless life, and He died on that cross for me and for anyone who will accept Him as Savior.

I therefore want to wish all of you a blessed Christmas, and if you do not know Him as your Savior, I invite you to accept Him: Romans 3:23, 3:10, 6:23, 5:8,10:9, 10, 13. What a wonderful and enduring Christmas present that would be: eternal life!

Friday, November 11, 2011


My late father served during World War II in the Philippines and Guadalcanal; my hubby served in Vietnam.  Thank you, veterans, for preserving our freedoms then and continuing to preserve our freedoms today.  God bless each of you brave men and women!  We thank your families for their sacrifices as well.

God bless America:  land of the free BECAUSE of the brave.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Our grandson Asher, now 20 months old, is enjoying what children have done, probably for centuries--playing in a pile of fall leaves.  That big smile says it all!

Adults usually look askance at all the laughter and joy regarding that pile of leaves. Honestly, I don't remember why I loved doing that myself as a child, but the joy of jumping onto a pile of them must still be magical--I've seen a number of children in our neighborhood doing so this year.

I've determined that it isn't just about a pile of leaves--it's about the ability in childhood to enjoy total abandonment in something so simple, so without batteries, and so cost FREE.  You know, we really don't need expensive, fancy toys to entertain children, even in 2011.  As illustrated in the photographs on this post, going to a local park to find leaves or even our own backyards can be fun.

Have you ever given a toddler a few colorful plastic bowls and a wooden spoon to play with?  When our daughters were little, I saved margarine tubs in varying sizes and colors for just that purpose, and they loved them.  Young children enjoy stacking things, turning them various ways, even putting them on their heads :).  Those margarine tubs made a dandy noise when banged together, too.

There are just so many creative ways to do things with children that are not expensive--dressing up in mommy's clothes, adding lots of jewelry, then having a tea party with the dolls and stuffed animals they already have.  Scavenger hunts with things in your home.  Charades.  Putting on a puppet show from behind a couch, using sock puppets decorated with yarn for hair and buttons for facial features.  Being creative and pretending is still fun for me now with the grandchildren.  Share some of your ideas with us through the comment block below!

But I digress.  In any case, the proverbial pile of leaves still evokes fond memories of fall.  It also serves as a reminder that something inexpensive, or even free, can often create priceless memories, bring families closer together, and create memorable pictures!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Ahhhh . . . November!  You are the beginning of my favorite time of year: fall.  The colorful leaves, the nip in the air, frost, and snow, depending upon where one is living.

You contain three birthdays in our family on the 14th (Alexa will be six), the 20th (our son-in-law Philip), and the 25th (mine). 

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and its meal ranks up there as one of my favorites: roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, corn pudding, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and even fried okra some years.  Our family also enjoys squash casserole, pasta salad, or potatoes au gratin on other years.  Desserts can range from banana pudding, chocolate cake, or cheesecake, to fruit pies, pecan pie, or hot fudge pudding cake with mint ice cream. 

My hubby Clark returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam in November, unscathed, and we married the following month, 41 years ago. 

As a child, I recall the Thanksgiving programs at school, complete with pilgrims and Indians in costume.  When I was in college, one of my friends donned a huge orange sweatshirt, white tights, and stuffed the shirt to look like a pumpkin! 

We always visit the mountains to enjoy the beautiful views and colors during October or November.

This month ushers in cooler, even cold, weather, which is greatly to my liking. 

A truly American holiday, we pause to give thanks for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as individuals, families, a nation.  I thank Him for my abundant life, full of a loving family and blessings. 

May yours be a blessed Thanksgiving as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today marks eleven years since my father, Robert "Papa" Duke, passed away at the age of 86.  I've written about him several times on this blog--about his life, on his birthday, on Veteran's Day--but today I just want to share some of my fond and blessed memories of how he touched my life.

1.  His robust laugh - I just cannot describe that joyful and full-bodied laugh of his and do it justice.  It was contagious, and we all ended up laughing along with him whenever he was sharing one of his funny stories or demonstrating how something had happened.

2. His delicious food - To Dad, "food = love."  He was an excellent cook-cum-chef, using that gift as a career.  Our family often joked that since Dad had cooked in the U.S. Army, he often cooked enough at home to feed an Army--and we tried to eat as much as an army would!

I've been in the thinking stages of a book planned around family recipes; I haven't decided yet if it will be merely a cookbook, because some of those delicious recipes used in my books have stories behind them:
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Chocolate Mint Brownies
Pork Chop Suey
Cranberry Banana Jam
Hungarian Beef Stew
Mexican Enchilada Casserole
Crunch Cake
Chicken and Dumplings
Farmer's Breakfast
Frosted Cinnamon Rolls
Lobster Newberg
Blackberry Cobbler

3. His music - As a young man, he started out with the acoustic guitar, teaching himself to play.  Later in life, Dad played the electric guitar by ear, and I'm thankful to have a recording he made just a couple of years before he died.  On it, he played some of his old favorites, even singing along on some of those and making comments here and there as only he could do:  T FOR TEXAS, GOODY GOODY, and the like.  He enjoyed music of the old timers, like Hank Williams, Eddie Arnold, and later Patsy Cline, Les Paul, Chet Atkins (his idol).  It is cherished.

4. His zest for life - Oh, how Dad loved the outdoors.  Our family went camping when I was young, across campgrounds in Europe, meeting friendly people of all nationalities.  What an education!  We even camped in the summertime in Alaska, but in a camper instead of a tent--it got pretty cold there, even on summer nights.

He had a huge garden, and under his large and capable hands with TWO green thumbs, it thrived and produced record crops of fruits and vegetables every year.  He loved fresh vegetables, even making his homemade salsa that needed a fire extinguisher while eating it!  His home-canned green beans were wonderful, and he and my mom spent many weeks canning and freezing their bounty.  He even took fresh veggies to "elderly" shut-ins well into his eighties!  

5. His love for dogs - As I was growing up, we usually had some kind of "dawg" around, and we did own several dachshunds.  We actually got our first doxie when we lived in Germany--a red female whom we named Elia.  All dogs loved Dad, because he played with and fed them endlessly!  He even got one of our dachshunds named Samantha, whom we called Sam,  to talk.  She could say "I'm hongry" the way Dad pronounced it, "wanna go out," along with a couple of other words.  Dad was thrilled to get Sam to "speak" for visitors.

6.  His delightful sense of humor - I simply had to include this one as a separate point, because he could make anybody laugh!  His zany stories and escapades, some of which are highlighted in THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES books, are all true:  the fence story, the fishing story, the alligator story, to name a few.  He not only told his stories, but he would get up and demonstrate them, showing his audience how a dog loped along (I still can't do it justice myself), how a mosquito flew erratically when he was released from a freezer he had inadvertently flown into, or how an alligator opened his mouth by Dad's using his arms as jaws.  You'd just have to see these to understand why we all laughed so much around him :).

7. His faith - Dad came to know the Lord rather late in life, in his fifties.  But he became a different person once he accepted Christ.  He opened his already-big heart to others, reached out to help people, and simply lived out his faith in such a way that the dramatic change that took place in his life was a joy to witness.

Dad, we all love and miss you, but we know by your own words before leaving us that you are with our heavenly Father now.  This world is poorer without you, but you've left behind a treasure trove of wonderful memories for us.  You would have adored those great grandchildren you never met as well as the doxies we now have, Duke and Shadow.

When our family all gets together, you are there with us as we speak fondly of you and your legacy of love you left behind as your gift to us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Papa Duke, one of the beloved characters in THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES series of dachshund books, so aptly states our feelings about dogs:

"A dawg loves you no matter what. You can be ugly, old, even dumb--but a dawg don't care. All he wants is your love and some food now and then. I think dawgs represent the unconditional love God has for us--maybe that's why He created them, to show that to us."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Sorry--I could not resist adding the caption to this photo!  Try your hand at a caption for it by adding a comment.

"We're innocent!  Where's our lawyer?  When
is our trial?  Let us out!!"

Monday, October 17, 2011


"Cuteness Personified"
Here we have Shadow the doxie with his sidekick, Aslan.  If you are new to this blog, check out the previous post, which tells all about the new addition of Aslan to our daughter's menagerie!  Normally, Shadow just does not have much to do with cats, but it seems that he and this ball of fur have adjusted rather well to each other!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here I am holding Aslan, a one-month-old foundling kitten belonging to our daughter and her family.  Our son-in-law Philip found him beside the home of friends when he had checked on their cats while these friends were out of town.

Apparently, one of their cats found Aslan in the nearby woods and brought him up to the house, but nobody could find out where he came from or if he had siblings.  He appeared to be less than two weeks old, dehydrated, and flea infested. 

Clark and me with Philip,
Holly, and grandchildren
So Philip brought him home, of course.  Holly bathed the pitiful little kitten, coaxed him to eat some kitty formula (yes, they do make such stuff) from a tiny bottle, and he now weighs one pound!  He's a feisty little fella already, too:  he will bite, swipe at, and pounce on anything he wishes, including feet, hands, dog or cat backs, much to the amazement of our grandchildren, who have been at the other end of that kitty's shenanigans!  He is still small enough to get inside one of my hubby's shoes as well.

He took a liking to lying around my neck like a purring fur collar--if I moved him to my lap, he climbed right back to lie on my neck again :).
Grandson Asher
loves Aslan

Piper, His Majesty
Piper, their adult cat, watches over Aslan like an indulgent uncle, never allowing Aslan out of his sight.  Shadow, their doxie, has even been seen licking Aslan, an unheard of action by this dog who has never interacted with Piper (it's been beneath his dignity to deal with a cat).  Our doxie Duke simply did not know what to make of the little bundle of white fur when we visited last weekend. 

Times are a'changing in Philip and Holly's household!

Monday, October 3, 2011



My dear neglected blog,

I am so sorry that I have neglected you of late, but my elderly mother, age 83, was in the hospital for a week after suffering a broken hip from a fall in her nursing facility.  She had surgery to repair it, having a rod and screws implanted to hold the bones together, and was just released Friday.

She has a long recovery ahead, and had already begun exhibiting early signs of dementia, so with all this uproar, she's a bit confused and anxious.  While in the hospital, she was combative and scared, so we did all we could to assuage her insecurities and feelings of helplessness.

Hopefully, I will be coming to see you more often unless she takes a turn for the worse.  Just be patient, relax, and I will see you again soon.

Your writer,
Mavis Duke Hinton

Friday, September 30, 2011


Caption this photo!

Someone sent me this cute little dachshund puppy clad in a hot dog bun.  Isn't this an adorable picture? 

I'd love to receive some captions for this photo from readers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


 This post is not about endorsing anyone, but even for curious Democrats who plan to vote Democratic, it is about our responsibility as citizens to know what all candidates stand for and what their aspirations are if one of them does get elected. 

If you don't plan to vote Republican, you probably won't be interested in anything the Republican candidates have to say in this debate tonight, aired from Florida by Fox News and Google.  It's also interactive, with youtube getting in on the action.

If you are an independent (a.k.a. swing) voter or a staunch Republican, it is equally important that you watch, listen, and calculate which candidate most nearly mirrors your own values and ideology.  All of these candidates fiercely want to become the next U.S. president, and all bring different things to the table.  We've seen what President Obama stands for, so it's important to find out which of the Republican candidates is the best choice for leading this country in 2012.

The political pundits are all over the page regarding the Republican candidates.  Will Sarah run?  Will Gov. Christie run?  My question is this:  who will be the best candidate to lead this country out of its current woes?  Don't give me "Well, I don't know much about politics," or "I don't keep up with presidential candidates" or "I probably won't vote, anyway" baloney.  And it's a bit early to rely very much on the polls--they can change overnight.  Good citizens take presidential elections seriously, and our country is in a serious situation right now. 

The 2012 election will have long-term consequences, and it behooves us as citizens to do our part by informed voting.  What are their positions (and these are in no particular order) on the economy and jobs, immigration, federal spending, big government, entitlement reform, abortion on demand, foreign policy, and many others.  I happen to feel strongly about the aforementioned items, and I'm doing all I can to determine which candidate is best, in my humble opinion, for this country.

For whom will I vote?  I honestly don't know right now.  I'm watching, listening, and researching past experience, their stand on the issues I believe are important, and evaluating who will be best, not only to lead our great country, but to handle the global stage in today's shrinking world.

And, last but foremost, I've been praying for wisdom from God.  That is of utmost importance in choosing the right leader for America.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Millions of Americans have been laid off or terminated from their jobs, and it is distressing. 

Today, this situation was brought home to me:  my brother, who has worked at the same corporation for more than 30 years, received word early this morning that their entire office was closing TODAY.  All employees are going home today, and are not coming back.  Now that's hard to digest--you mean that they are to pack up their personal belongings, go home, and will not be working tomorrow??  That's right.

He told me that one of the employees has worked there since 1970, and that this employee's wife has terminal cancer.  There are untold millions of these personal stories across America.  My heart--and a prayer--goes out to all of them. 

The only way to make sense of any of this, as a Christian, is to recognize that God is in control, and none of it is a surprise to Him.  Years ago, our pastor at the time often said, "Has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God?  He already knows whatever you are going through."  That is obvious--we don't have to inform Him of our troubles, sorrows, or difficulties--He is aware of them, and as the saying goes, "If He takes you to it, He will take you through it." 

One of our sons-in-law was without a job for two years. Through it all, he and our daughter trusted God, allowing Him to guide and sustain them. It was difficult, but it gladdened our hearts to see their shining testimony as they waited upon Him.  Do they know why God allowed them to wait for the door to open for that length of time?  No--but they do know that God does not make mistakes.  They also know that God took care of them and their children during that time.

I have found that, if I ask Him to help me through a difficult situation, He does so.  Sometimes, He has placed me where I would learn something I might not have learned any other way; in others, He has taught me to trust Him in a greater way, or shown me, through that situation, that He would never leave me or forsake me.  Bad things happen to all of us, but at the time, it seems that we alone have hardship.  In acknowledging that many have it much worse than I do, in difficult times I seek God's guidance in how I can grow and learn from the situation.  When I was younger and a new Christian, I would try to run away from the problem.  Did that help?  Not at all.  Face difficulties head on, and with His help, circumstances that seem unsurmountable CAN be handled. 

I've suffered two miscarriages in early pregnancy:  one before our first daughter, and one before our second daughter.  I had difficult pregnancies, and was ordered bed rest with both daughters as well.  Although those times were heartbreaking, difficult, and sad, we knew that God was with us in our loss.  He gave up His only Son for those who accept Him, so my heavenly Father knew our sorrow.  And for each child we lost, God gave us a wonderful, beautiful, and cherished daughter.  Now, as adults, I consider them my best friends.  We also know that we will meet those two unknown babies in eternity!

The hardest part for many Christians is to trust God's heart when they seemingly don't see His hand at work in such things as losing a job.  Does that mean that God isn't working when we don't see evidence that He is?  Can you hear me shouting a resounding NO?  Sometimes He is working "behind the scenes" to create the circumstances that we need at the time.  We've been through job loss ourselves, and it isn't easy.  But I do know that things ultimately do work out--maybe not always as we had envisioned--but we have to trust Him to show us the way.

Pray for wisdom in these trying times.  I personally want all the wisdom I can get, even for mundane things.  Small decisions can balloon into large problems, so it's always wise (no pun intended) to seek God's unswerving guidance.  He desires that we call upon Him.  The human condition is difficult at best--and this "boot camp" called life is designed to season, strengthen, and  change us to be more like Him.  Our part is to understand that sometimes difficult situations arise, but it is our reactions to them, not the situations themselves, that help us to grow and mature as Christians.

God has reasons for everything that happens in this life, but He is not obligated to explain Himself.  Parents of very young children have to act fast sometimes to prevent those children from harm.  Children do not understand why their parents did what they did--they are too young and inexperienced to know the dangers.  In much the same way, God the Father is keeping us from harm or is arranging circumstances to work out for our good.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called according to His purpose."  (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Have I had pain in my life?  Of course.  Have I wondered "why" certain things happened as they did?  You bet.  But through it all, I've come to realize that trusting God is THE way to go.  My only other choice would have been to NOT trust Him, and that was far worse than any situation in which I might find myself.

Friday, September 2, 2011


"I don't see why it would be a problem to have voters produce photo ID to prove that they are (1) citizens, and (2) are not using someone else's name when showing up at the polls. This action could go a long way in eliminating, or at least reducing, voter fraud."

Since the 2012 election campaign is already gearing up, I posted the above statement as my Facebook status recently--and I received a torrent of comments!  Nobody disagreed with my statement (or, if they did, they didn't have the wherewithal to comment):

1) I agree. I worked the polls for years and many people asked why we didn't ask for picture IDs.

2) We always have to show ID when we vote in WV.

3) I agree 100% with you and I'm infuriated at the argument that requiring a state- or military-issued ID is a voting "tax." We're talking about a $10 ID/driver's license that is valid in NC for 8 years. C'mon now!

4) Why not issue the id for free if that is the problem.

5) I totally agree - I have to show mine and sign 2 different things here in TN.

6) In NC, you just have to tell them your name! Anyone could use another's name since they do not require any kind of verification. That needs to change, and it is NOT SUPPRESSING PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO VOTE. It's suppressing voter fraud!

7) I just don't get THAT one! Yes, even banks require ID if they're not familiar with you.

8) I agree.

9) I agree.

10) The most recent time I voted they couldn't find my name, and I just leaned over the table and pointed to my name on the printout. I could have said I was ____________, and I think I would have gotten away with it.

11) I think a photo ID is a good idea any time the activity has restrictions. If it is required, there is no question of "picking on" anybody for any reason. What I would love to see is enough restriction on the people working at the polls so that they wouldn't have people working who can't find the names on the lists!

12) Here in FL I try to show my ID and voter registration and they never look at them. We SHOULD be required to identify ourselves. Of course, then the dead can't vote as easily in Chicago.

13) At this rate, what's to stop illegals (or anyone else) from voting several times and in several districts?? Maybe that's one of the reasons behind the outrage over requiring ID!

Monday, August 29, 2011


I've neglected this blog, all can see,
But I've left it alone purposely--
Have lots on my mind,
And you, too, will find
That this break is also for thee.

I'll be back on this blog in due time,
Oh, expect a post sublime!
I'll write something "real good,"
(I'll write what I should)--
But this poem is getting harder to rhyme!

See you soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Our little grandson, Asher,
17 months
Asher is sweet, cute, smart, and loves me, his doting grandma.  I look forward to watching him grow and change--and every phase is enjoyable!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This post will be brief, but I have an age-old question:  WHY DO SOME FAMILIES HAVE TO LIVE FAR APART? 

I ask this because our two married daughters live in Arizona and Georgia, and we live in North Carolina.  Sometimes it is so hard because we miss them, their hubbies, and the grandchildren SO MUCH.  We got used to the empty nest--then along came the grandchildren, and now, we just see them once in awhile because of distance, schedules, and a little thing called work.  They are growing up and we are not really a part of their lives!

I know the answer: because the Lord has seen fit to move them to where they are, and they are doing well.  They are well adjusted, happy families, for which we are truly thankful.  But as we parents get older, it is easier to have a pity party for ourselves since we are no longer in the center of things.  Grandparents, you know what I'm talking about:  we are now somewhat off to the side in life, whereas when our children were growing up, we were front and center.  Personally, I don't like taking a back seat, but it's time.  I must pursue other things, which I am doing to the best of my ability.

But a grandma CAN MISS THE FAMILY without being bitter about it, you know.  The old adage, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" is absolutely true.  I thank the Lord for our family, and we love them far more than the words in this post can convey.

If you are reading this, you may have a bigger heartache than just having family in another state.  I pray for any readers who are suffering, but I do thank you for taking a moment to read my personal lament.  May God strengthen and uplift you.

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